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7/08/2017 7:28 am  #1

Native Americans say grizzly bear decision violates religion

Native Americans say grizzly bear decision violates religion

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Native American tribes, clans and leaders from seven states and Canada say the U.S. government’s recent decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area violates their religious freedom.

They are suing to block the government from removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the endangered and threatened species list, which would allow Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to hold grizzly bear hunts.

The Native American plaintiffs argue that trophy hunting for grizzly bears goes against their religious and spiritual beliefs. The lawsuit filed June 30 asks a federal judge to rule that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must consider the Native Americans’ beliefs and consult adequately with them before removing grizzly protections that have been in place since 1975.

“He is our relative. For us Bear Clan members, he is our uncle,” Ben Nuvamsa, a former chairman of the Hopi Tribe in Arizona, said Wednesday. “If that bear is removed, that does impact our ceremonies in that there would not be a being, a religious icon that we would know and recognize.”

The three states have not planned any hunts for this year, but have agreed to quotas and to cease all hunting if the Yellowstone population falls below 600 bears. There are now about 700 in the region.

Basing a legal challenge of an Endangered Species Act decision on religious beliefs and inadequate tribal consultation has not been tried before, said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jeff Rasmussen. It’s an argument that differs from those of the conservation and wildlife advocacy groups who have also filed intentions to sue over last month’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision.

“They don’t feel like they’ve been listened to, both with regard to their religious beliefs and spiritual beliefs, and with regard to some of the issues in this case,” Rasmussen said. “They feel the U.S. is not listening to them, and we’re hoping to change that.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Department of Interior officials declined to comment on the lawsuit. U.S. Department of Justice officials did not return a call or email for comment.

The government began the process of delisting the bears in March 2016 under the Obama administration, and received 650,000 public comments. The Fish and Wildlife Service says on its website it offered an opportunity to government-to-government consultation to 53 tribal governments through letters, phone calls, emails and webinars during that time.

It is government policy to conduct direct consultations with tribes, which are sovereign nations, on Endangered Species Act issues.

The lawsuit alleges that government officials only contacted four tribes initially, and only contacted the others after the decision had been made.

“They promised us that they would consult with us before they made the decision,” Nuvamsa said. “They reneged on it.”

The plaintiffs are 17 tribes, clans and individuals from Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico and Canada. Rasmussen said two more tribes from Nebraska and South Dakota are being added.

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

7/08/2017 4:33 pm  #2

Re: Native Americans say grizzly bear decision violates religion

If there were a Diamondback Rattlesnake Clan I presume they would feel the same about the vipers.

If the NAs don't want to hunt grizzlies they don't have to.   If the NAs don't want such hunting on their land they are well  within their rights to ban it.

But their rights end where the rights of others to self preservation begin.  Grizzlies are omnivore predators;

Humans are prey

Seems like homo sapiens is the only accceptable unprotected species.

I'm not going to be "Uncle Grizzly's" dinner without a fight.

Life is an Orthros.

7/09/2017 6:41 am  #3

Re: Native Americans say grizzly bear decision violates religion

Oh, I think that homo sapiens has done pretty well vis-a-vis the other critters of the earth the last few thousand years. 

I went to Montana on a fishing trip about ten years ago. Spent most of the time in drift boats with a guide. But, there was this sweet little stream in the woods of the ranch I was staying on that I wanted to check out. 
As I was getting ready to go, someone gave me a can of bear spray. Well, that got me thinking, and I developed an acute case of what the locals call bearanoia. Spent more time looking over my shoulder than looking at the water.
It really was quite an inetresting sensation.

Now, I've spent a great deal of my life alone in the woods from Pennsylvania to Maine. Never felt a moments unease. But, this was different. Knowing that you are NOT the apex predator in a situation is unnerving!


Last edited by Goose (7/09/2017 6:44 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter

7/09/2017 6:54 pm  #4

Re: Native Americans say grizzly bear decision violates religion

WARD, Colo. (AP) — A teen staffer at a Colorado camp fought off a bear after waking up Sunday to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away.

The 19-year-old woke up at around 4 a.m. to a "crunching sound" with his head inside the mouth of the bear, which was trying to pull him out of his sleeping bag as he slept outside at Glacier View Ranch 48 miles (77 kilometers) northwest of Denver, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. The teen punched and hit it and other staffers who were sleeping nearby yelled and swatted at the bear, which eventually left, she said.

The staffer, identified only as Dylan, was treated briefly at a hospital and released.

The teen told KMGH-TV that the bear dragged him ten to 12 feet before he was able to free himself.

"The crunching noise, I guess, was the teeth scraping against the skull as it dug in," said the teen, who teaches wilderness survival at the camp owned by the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.Dylan and the other staffers were near teepees where 12- and 13-year-old campers were sleeping. None of them were hurt.Black bears aren't usually aggressive but have attacked several people in the West in recent weeks.

A woman and her dogs were attacked on Tuesday after they apparently surprised an adult bear and her cub in a huckleberry patch in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

Last month, black bears killed two people in Alaska in separate attacks.

Life is an Orthros.

7/09/2017 7:01 pm  #5

Re: Native Americans say grizzly bear decision violates religion

As Stephen Colbert warns: Number 1 threat to America?

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter

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